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of their income. >> that said the president and speaker john boehner discussed the budget by phone yesterday. susan mcginnis is in washington with the latest on this game of fiscal chicken. susan, good morning to you. >> right. good morning, terrell. yeah, that phone call does raise the possibility that some serious talks could start soon, but now we learn that a lot of members of congress are heading out on a long weekend, not to return till tuesday, this as the impasse here on capitol hill continues and the nation waits. social security workers marched outside their office in baltimore wednesday. they're protesting the government spending cuts due to kick in at the end of the year as part of the fiscal clear. >> we don't want to see our public hurt in any way. >> just down the road in washington, d.c., the standoff continues. house speaker john boehner says he's still waiting for president obama to make his next counteroffer to the republican plan he rejected. >> i'm going need a response from the white house. we can't sit here and negotiate with ourselves. >> the president and b
, meanwhile house speaker john boehner has to win over hard liners in his own party. susan mcginnis is following it all. >> reporter: hi. good morning. there are some glimmers of common ground here among the two sides that could form the basis of a deal. the president is now talking about actually lowering the tax rate for the top 2% not now but later. and republicans are now taking some heat over their latest plan a lot of it from within their own party. >> five, four -- >> reporter: house speaker john boehner led the countdown to the lighting of the capitol hill christmas tree last night. >> one. >> reporter: but a different countdown weighs on the minds of these lawmakers, the countdown to the fiscal cliff. a series of tax increases and spending cuts due to kick in at the end the year. >> god bless us, everyone. >> reporter: speaker boehner offered the republican proposal this week and now he faces opposition from president obama. >> the speaker's proposal is out of balance. >> reporter: some in his own party are lining up against him. jim demint a tea party leader said speaker boeh
than a month to head off the automatic tax hikes and spending cuts that will kick in next year. john boehner said he can't believe the latest white house proposal. the obama administration insists there's no deal without a tax increase. susan mcginnis is in washington with details this morning. susan, good morning to you. >> reporter: good morning, terrell. it may appear the two sides are nowhere but these talks are expected to pick up dramatically very soon. december is here and as they say here in washington the lawmakers can smell the jet fumes meaning the planes taking them home for their holiday recess. what we're hearing there should be a deal by christmas. the white house is already decorated for the holidays but the mood here in washington is anything but festive. >> i think we're going over the cliff. >> reporter: if congress doesn't act america will ring in the new year with $110 billion in spending cuts and a $500 billion tax increase leaving the average household with a nearly $3,500 hangover. timothy geithner was on the hill last week to present the president's plan to c
. but house speaker john boehner isn't ready to budge yet. >> it will hurt small businesses, hurt our economy. it's why this is not the right approach. >> reporter: on capitol hill on wednesday, erskine bowles met with both sides. he's the co-chair of the committee that drew up a plan to cut the federal debt. >> i'm hopeful but don't put me down anywhere near optimistic category. we got a long way to go and very few days to get it done. >> reporter: and some signs of compromise from the democrats. the house democratic leader nancy pelosi is giving some hints her party may be willing to consider some of those offers made between the president and speaker boehner during last year's budget talks including cuts to medicaid and medicare and one more sign two sides are moving together. today president obama is hosting mitt romney for lunch. it's closed to the press but those fiscal cliff talks will be part of that discussion. >> curious minds will want to know. susan, thank you. the fiscal issue of another sort, the record setting powerball jackpot. we like talking about this fiscal issue.
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